It’s “Inspiration” week, in which we all get the warm and fuzzies by talking about how we’re all going to Do The Right Thing and help all the little people. Plus, you get four hours of voting to ensure 50,000,000 votes so that News Corp will donate a full five million to the charity.
Bono has signed up to be a mentor. I wish Sanjaya were still around. Imagine him in Bono’s shades, singing a U2 song? Ah, bliss.
Chris Richardson started off the night with Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” He’s straight up boy band material. He’s not even latter-day Justin Timberlake. He’s a boy band guy. While I thought he finally added something of himself into the song in the last third, the first 2/3rds felt flat and karaoke for me.
The judges loved him, though. Simon said that “the competition starts properly tonight.” Ouch, he really hated Sanjaya. . .
Melinda Doolittle sang “There Will Come A Day,” a Faith Hill song. As usual, she nailed it. She’s the best overall singer this show has ever seen and likely ever will see. Is she marketable, though? Is she proper IDOL material? Somehow, I don’t think so. But she’s fun to watch every week.
Blake Lewis did the song we all had to know was coming on a show like this, “Imagine.” I loathe the song, but that’s just me. I thought he started off strong. I liked the sound of his voice. I liked the restraint. But the problem came about halfway through it, when you realized it wasn’t going anywhere and it just started to sound repetitive (like the song, itself) and boring. I think he did enough with it to make it interesting, overall, but it should have been better. And the judges agreed with me.
He should have broken the beatboxing out. It might have made the song tolerable again. heh heh
LaKisha Jones continued her path to hari kari with Fantasia’s “I Believe.” Is she nuts? She just did Carrie Underwood’s post-Idol hit single last week, and she follows that up with Fantasia’s Idol song? Maybe we all misjudged her, because right now she just looks like an Idol fangirl who got lucky enough to make the stage. She’s completely lost herself.
I don’t even like Fantasia that much, but you could see how much she put into the song that LaKisha couldn’t. Fantasia was a mad woman on the stage when she sang the song. She put energy into it. LaKisha tried putting the emotion into it, but wound up looking stiff. It was not a good week for her, again.
Phil Stacey is sticking with this country thing he’s got going and did Garth Brooks’ “The Change.” While he might have been a little shouty in one or two spots, it was a respectable vocal and a nice performance for him. Nothing earth-shattering, but solid. I still think he’ll be in the bottom three, though I don’t know for sure that he’s going out this week just yet.
Jordin Sparks closed out the show with a tour de force, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Randy called it one of the best Idol performances ever. It was really good and it gave me goosebumps, but I’m not entirely sold on placing it that high in the pantheon just yet. I need to rewatch it, but it was amazing.
That girl can sing, and she embodies what I think most people feel the American Idol should be — younger, greener, and talented. I don’t think people want to vote for wedding band singers and professional backup singers. They want young kids rising up from humble beginnings. They want likable characters with big smiles. And Jordin has all of that in spades.
And I think if Jordin goes on to win this thing, this will definitely be seen as an “Idol Moment.”
My order, from best to worst: Jordin and Melinda are far and away in the lead. Phil and Blake are next up. Chris is nearing the rear, and LaKisha is dead last though I thought her vocal was better than Chris’. But if she sings “A Moment Like This” next week, I will laugh.
Bottom three this week: I think Jordin and Melinda are the only two are are bulletproof, which leaves me with four contestants to choose from, and that’s a real toss-up.
Phil, LaKisha, and Chris. Blake will just miss the bottom three, and only because too many people think “Imagine” is a good song.
Who goes home? Phil. Yeah, I’m sticking with last week’s prediction after all this. I’m a wuss.